Hey everyone, it’s Sabrina! I know this title might sound alarming, but I promise today’s post is a mostly light-hearted one. I’m talking about all the things that people have said to me about books and reading that are simply not true – I’m sure you’ll have heard a lot of these too! Let’s get into it and bust some of these myths 🙂
“You can’t call yourself a reader if you haven’t read x book!”
WHO SAID IT: I was going on camp with my university several years ago, and the girl sitting next to me on the bus told me that if I hadn’t read Eragon (of all things!) there was no way I could consider myself a reader. I laughed, but the next few hours on the bus were slightly uncomfortable.
WHY IT’S A LIE: It is a very close-minded perspective that doesn’t consider barriers to reading or account for different tastes. Not everyone has the interest, access or time to read all popular books – and that is, obviously, totally fine! You are a reader no matter what books you decide to pick up.
“You have too many books”
“You don’t have enough books”
WHO SAID IT: My mum has told me plenty of times when I am out shopping that I have plenty of books and I do not need any more. I am the only one who has told myself that I don’t have enough books – it’s something I still have to work to reject.
WHY IT’S A LIE: There is no mystical correct number of books for one person to own. Of course it is wonderful to be able to support authors by purchasing their books, but it helps them out when you borrow from the library too – and I am a big advocate of libraries, as that is where I get most of my books. I understand that it’s easy to feel like you’re not buying enough when you consume the content of people that own a large collection, but it doesn’t make you any less valid. As long as you’re not pirating books, I support your book collection!
“YA is only for kids”
WHO SAID IT: I’ve seen multiple internet articles that take this point of view – they seem to be especially prevalent around the time YA book-to-movie adaptations are released.
WHY IT’S A LIE: The key word here is “only”. Yes, I believe that young adults should be the primary target audience for YA books (after all, that is their purpose), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed or otherwise valued by people outside that narrow age range. My parents’ love for the entire Twilight franchise is proof enough of that, lol.
“Audiobooks don’t count as reading”
“Graphic novels don’t count as reading”
“Short books don’t count as reading”
WHO SAID IT: The number one culprit of saying these things in my life? My dad. Every time I’m reading a book that’s not in a traditional format, he scoffs and tells me it doesn’t count. He’s not seriously mocking me, so no hate in the comments 😉 , but it never fails to get me a little riled up. The second culprit is none other than Twitter – and as I’m afraid I’ll descend into a huge rant about Twitter if I elaborate on that, I’m going to stop here.
WHY IT’S A LIE: Similarly to the first lie in this list, this is a narrow point of view to take that doesn’t consider accessibility or taste. As long as you’ve consumed a book – no matter what format – you are reading!
“Classics are all boring”
WHO SAID IT: Me! It turns out that I lie to myself all the time and I was especially good at it in high school.
WHY IT’S A LIE: Sure, sometimes it takes a little effort to get into the writing style of older books, but that doesn’t make them boring. And, contrary to my past beliefs, not all classics involve war – that’s just the books my high school curriculum decided to include (and that’s a discussion for another day). In the last few years, I have picked up and really enjoyed a few classics – definitive proof that this is a myth.
“Reading fantasy is pointless”
WHO SAID IT: My high school nemesis, it seemed to me, would say anything she could to try and make me feel bad about myself – including this. Fortunately, I realised this was her motivation and was, more often than not, able to laugh at her.
WHY IT’S A LIE: I love fantasy, and that alone is reason enough to read it. On top of this, it’s just as likely that you will gain a deeper insight into the world from fantasy (or sci-fi for that matter) as you will from contemporary or literary fiction.
And that’s that – myths BUSTED. I noticed while putting this together that most of these lies have a big thing in common – they are said by someone who wants to inflate their own sense of superiority. I’m sure they know this deep down but there is no reading habit you can adopt that makes you better or more deserving than another person. If you’ve had any of these sorts of comments directed at you, I hope you didn’t take them to heart. And, if you’ve ever taken part in spreading these lies (like me!), I hope you have since seen the light 😛
What do you think?
Have you heard any of these lies before? Or any others? Also, did/do you have a high school nemesis? Let me know in the comments!